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bad influence

17 January, 2014

Following on from this earlier post

Dr K.D. HAMES: It is true that the former Minister for Health, Hon Jim McGinty, issued instructions to all the hospitals that they would be able to sell only non-fast-food items. They were not able to sell blocks of chocolate and they were not able to sell pies, chips or any of those things that we recognise as being not good for us. But of course the delicatessen across the road could sell all those things. I received lots of complaints. The complaints came from a variety of sources, some of them from volunteers but mostly from elderly women who worked in those shops selling stuff and raising money that was put back into the hospital. So, they were very upset at the range of food they had to sell—only tiny bars of chocolate, if at all. They could not sell chips, pies or any of those things. The other complaints came from the doctors. There were young residents working flat out on 12-hour shifts seeing patients who wanted to race in and get something to eat. Do they want a muesli bar? No, they do not.

Mr R.H. Cook: They should!

Dr K.D. HAMES: Do they need something hot and maybe a bit unhealthy? They could be living —

Mr R.H. Cook: What happens if the deli across the road starts selling cigarettes; are you going to start selling them in hospitals as well?

The ACTING SPEAKER (Ms J.M. Freeman): Minister and member for Kwinana, while this debate is very entertaining, very instructive and clearly a point of contention between the two of you, it is not of relevance to this bill. Minister, if you would like to quickly curtail your response to the interjection from the member for Kwinana and, member for Kwinana, if you would like to stop your interjections with respect to that and get back to the bill, that would be helpful. Thank you.

Dr K.D. HAMES: Thank you, Madam Acting Speaker. I thought you would have given me a bit more leniency than that!
The decision was made by me when we came into government that we did not need to be a nanny state and that it was reasonable to give people choice—if people wanted to buy a block of chocolate for their ageing grandmother who was sick in a ward and who loved chocolate, they should be able to do so.

Mr R.H. Cook: What if she wanted a nip of sherry? Should they be able to buy a little bottle of sweet sherry for their grandmother as well?

The ACTING SPEAKER: Member for Kwinana, we have done this. We need to move back to the bill.

Mr R.H. Cook: Sorry, Madam Acting Speaker. It is just that he is wrong.

Subject: Queen Elizabeth II Medical Centre Amendment Bill 2013 [Legislative Assembly – Second Reading]

Date: 23 May 2013

Hansard reference: pp. 1094-1095 [online (pdf)]

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